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mpm896 posted a topic in Decisions, DecisionsAny advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm deciding between the biochemistry/molecular biophysics program at UPenn and the biochemistry (BCMB) program at Johns Hopkins. My issue is this: I feel as though I like the Hopkins program better (more researchers I'm immediately interested in from the faculty page [10 or so here vs. 3ish at Penn], more students, more professional development opportunities), though that isn't to say that I don't love the BMB program at Penn (I do like that there's a little more biophysics in this program). However, when it comes to cities, I really love Philadelphia and I'm less keen on Baltimore, although I think it would be fun to try to live in for a bit. People (grad students and faculty) at both programs seem very down to earth, happy to be there, nice, and encouraging, and both programs have a great community of structural biologists. Based on this, how much should I prioritize the city I'm living in vs. the program itself, or vice versa? Thanks in advance!
Hello everyone, I really loved both of these schools when I visited and it feels impossible to decide between them. I'm laying out some logistical things here and would welcome any insights that might help me decide. UCSF Pros: - Four faculty that are close research fits and many more doing research that I am less experienced with but find fascinating - Great grad students and culture - everyone seems happy and taken care of - Excellent facilities - Seems like a truly collaborative environment Cons: - I'm moving with a partner and a big dog so living in SF is probably not feasible, I would most likely have to commute from Oakland or Berkeley - No undergrads (could also be a pro) Berkeley Pros: - One faculty that is a leader in my research field, another that is a good match for my current interests, many more that are interesting (similar to UCSF in this regard) - The "good match" is someone that I have met on several occasions and I really like, I am confident that I could join their lab if I wanted to and would be happy there - Much better subsidized housing situation - Easy commute by bike even if we don't move into grad housing Cons: - The campus is HUGE and PI that I have met with before is in a building that might make it hard to work collaboratively, maybe this isn't an issue but I'm not sure how much people see each other across campus - The program is spread over so many departments it seems like the cohorts might not be very tight-knit - A lot of undergrads and tourists everywhere - Some of the other labs I'm interested in are much larger than I've ever worked in before, not sure if it's an issue for me There are also many strengths that these two schools share such as career development services, opportunities for mentorship and science outreach, and the fact that I left both visits feeling very excited about the research opportunities and environment. Their stipends are similar - UCSF is a little higher but Berkeley has the housing and subsidized transportation perks that probably outweigh the difference. Thanks for reading this and for any insights you can offer!
I am going to start a PhD program in the fall at Yale's biochemistry, biophysics & structural biology program... but I'm having cold feet after committing to this program! Is anyone else out there already feeling worried about making the wrong decision? I chose Yale because I felt like I fit in with the student body, I was excited by how their basic science could be supplemented by more clinical/cancer biology exposure, the collaborations available for science students within the law school, and of course, I have a (fairly "serious") relationship where I currently live in Boston-- Yale wasn't too far away (about 2 hours) and location was extremely important to me. Now I'm feeling like I should have accepted at similar programs such as UW Madison's IPiB, UC San Diego, University of Washington, UNC... *sigh* How are you guys dealing with second guessing yourself now that it's all over??
I have PhD admits from Purdue and UIUC for their programs in Physics and Biophysics respectively. I am having a tough time making a decision and with the 15th of April approaching I am having a tough time making a decision. I have a background in Physics and one year of research experience in Biophysics. Here are a few points: 1. The program at UIUC (Biophysics and Quantitative Biology) is ranked one of the best in the world with really well recognised faculties. Purdue's Physics department is not so highly ranked. 2. I have a feeling that UIUC's program strongly focuses on Molecular Biophysics about which I haven't had a lot of exposure. They have an excellent course structure that places all students on equal footing irrespective of their backgrounds but I'm a little nervous about going for it because of my lack of familiarity with it so far 3. Although I like Biophysics, I also want to study Physics since I feel that I'm weak in a few topics from my undergraduate course and lack confidence in the subject (Not all of the courses are relevant to Biophysics but I still want to understand those courses well for my sake). Purdue's program (offered by the Physics department) provides that opportunity whereas the course structure at UIUC is highly oriented towards Molecular Biophysics and doesn't look like the regular course structure. 4. I'm not even sure if I am ready to specialise in Biophysics or give myself a chance to explore for a year (which is possible at Purdue). This may be because I'm nervous about stepping into UIUC's program for reasons mentioned above. 5. I've spoken to professors that I would like to work with at both places and I've had positive responses from either side. Both schools are located at similar kinds of places. So even that's out of question. I know the program at UIUC is a really good one. But I'm very confused. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!